In case you hadn't noticed, it's pretty dry in Kansas right now. Eastern Kansas is still considered "abnormally dry," but at least for the East-Central division, which includes Emporia, the drought deficit isn't very much.
State Climatologist Mary Knapp says our division has averaged 0.23 hundredths of an inch of precipitation for January, which is 48 percent below normal. Knapp says it sounds bad, but isn't really.
Knapp says January into February is typically dry for our region, and says it's difficult to predict where the weather pattern is trending over the next few weeks. She explains why Kansas is so cold and dry at the moment:
Knapp says that Arctic air is very dry, and if there's no other moisture in the region to accompany it, then the chilly and dry conditions continue. Knapp says a ridge in the Pacific would need to break down before any significant moisture could make its way across the Midwest. In that case, moisture would be pulled from the Gulf, and temperatures would not be as bone-chillingly cold.
In the meantime, no relief is in sight, as forecasts call for continued cold, dry conditions for our region.
The 8 to 14-day outlook calls for moisture to the north and east. Knapp says those storm patterns can shift a little bit and bring moisture to eastern Kansas, but it's still too early to predict.
With this extended dry and windy period, the fire danger is significantly elevated. A fire weather watch is in effect from 10am to 6pm Friday. Stay tuned to KVOE, KVOE.com, Twitter and Facebook for the latest weather updates.